Vol. I.— No. 2.
Published monthly by
the Alumni Associa-
tion of the Perkins
Institution for the
Blind, Boston, Mass.
Terms One Dollar per
year, payable in ad-
vance. Single copies
should be addressed
to J. W. Smith, Sec-
No. 37 Avon Street.
Entered at the Post-office at Boston, Mass., as second-class matter.
I. Esthetic Culture of the Blind. W. Meeker. Translated by
II. Value of Recitals in Musical Education. T.Reeves
III. A Happy Life in Silence and Darkness. Harriet M. Mark-
IV. Extract from a Familiar Talk to the Alumn/e Associa-
tion of the Perkins Institution. Emilie Poulsson
V. Dress and Deportment : Their Relation to the Success
of the Blind. Elmer S. Hosmer
VI. Band-leading as an Employment for the Blind. C. H.
VII. Sight and Sightless Draught-playing. H. S. Rogers
VIII. At Home and Abroad
Illinois. — Italy. — Michigan. — Missouri. — New York. — Nova
Scotia. — Oregon. — Pennsylvania. — Russia. — Saxony. —
IX. Editorial Notes
F. W. SPENCER & CO.,
723 MARKET STREET,
Spencer Hall, - San Francisco, Cal.
Facific Coast Agency for
Ctiickering & Sons' Pianos,
Wilcox & White Organs.
Pacific Coast Agency for
Gonover Brothers' Pianos,
Vol. I. FEBRUARY, 1891. No.
^ESTHETIC CULTURE OF THE BLIND.
[From the German of W. Mecker.~\
TRANSLATED BY SARA WHALEN.
Thus is the world of beauty for almost half its extent
closed to our blind ; and there remain for him only those
forms of its semblance which, through the sense of touch,
and particularly through the ear, reach his perception. In
the education of our pupils, only few ways and means are
present to cultivate their aesthetic sense; and it might ap-
pear doubtful whether it is possible for us to develop the
faculty of sensation in harmony with their faculties of per-
ception and volition, and to render it capable, in a profitable
manner, of enjoying and caring for beauty.
And we should despair, in fact, if, according to the theory
of Locke and Condillac, man were nothing more than a
column which only receives inner life and intellect by the
impressions of the senses ; if an interior predisposition of
intellect must not be taken for an aesthetic perception, which
can, as a rule, be excited, developed, and cultivated to a
great degree by every exterior impression, let it come
through eye or ear. Each one must accept such an inner,
universal sense, which is easily cultivated toward beauty by
every outward impression. Even if he believe with Socrates
and Plato in inherited ideas, or with Leibnitz in a predes-
tined harmony of the intellect with the exterior world, he
may see, according to Darwin, an inheritance, or, according
to Von Hartmann, an unknown instinct in this aesthetic,
innate sense. How could it be explained otherwise that
Laura Bridgman, deaf, dumb, and blind from youth, could
be cultivated simply by means of the sense of touch so far
aesthetically that she acquired a taste for cleanliness and
order, for attire and demeanor, pure evidences of beauty
which are mainly comprehended through the eye ? We
shall truly never succeed in guiding this innate sense of
beauty in the blind to impressions of sight, since these are
conducted to the intellect through no other sense ; but we
are, nevertheless, in a condition, by increasing and strength-
ening the aesthetic impressions which are brought to the
interior sense through the senses of touch and hearing, to
arouse and develop the faculty of sensation, that it may act,
even if not on all sides, still perceptibly after its own fash-
ion, and be capable of creating and finding beauty. ^Es-
thetic influences, by frequency and intensity, will, through
the senses of touch and hearing, replace the loss of impres-
sions of sight to a certain extent, and develop, render in-
telligible, and, so to speak, enlighten, according to inherited
tendencies toward beauty, the higher feeling, sensitive and
predisposed to what is beautiful.
Accordingly, then, in order to cultivate the aesthetic
sense of the blind to the requisite degree, it will be a prin-
cipal theme of pedagogics for the blind to sharpen and im-
prove their remaining senses, and then by means of these to
conduct methodically to the inner faculty of sensation the
proper aesthetic material for culture as nature and art afford
it. I will spend no time over what concerns the sharpen-
ing and improvement of a sense, since a measure so neces-
sary for the development of the other faculties of the in-
tellect has been frequently treated by our scientists, and is
practised more or less systematically in all schools for the
But a. keen sense is by no means an aesthetic sense: else
the far-seeing Indian would be the best connoisseur, and the
sensitive mind-reader would be the greatest artist. The
ESTHETIC CULTURE OF THE BLIND
sharpest sense should be trained to conceive ideas aestheti-
cally by the use of aesthetic objects, and thus will the inte-
rior sense of beauty be aroused and cultivated. But the
question arises, Where shall we find in a school for the blind
proper aesthetic material, and how shall we deal with it ? In
reply to this question, let us make a hurried visit through
the departments of such a school, and tarry in that spot
where we hope to find a flower for our pupils' sense of
First and foremost, a school for the blind has the follow-
ing to do for aesthetic culture. It should never allow about
the scholar, nor in his vicinity, anything which stands in
contrast with beauty, no uncleanness and no disorder. In
addition, it should make use of all means to accustom him
to cleanliness, order, and propriety. This is much more
difficult among the blind, since no mirror, no stranger's
example and illustration, which among seeing ones tend so
much to the care of the outward person, can be used as aid.
Continual, patient watching and correcting, friendly and
earnest admonitions and reproofs, drastic description of the
loathsome and ugly impression which everything unclean,
disorderly, and impure occasions everywhere, especially
among the seeing, ought to awaken the inner sense for the
elements of beauty ; and custom, the constant observation
of cleanliness, of order and of propriety in all things, ought
to make it second nature. The rooms of the institution
should, in this respect, serve the pupils as an illustration.
All objects there should always be neat and in order; and
no dust and no confusion should offend the sense of touch.
Yes, I would even like to see the sense of smell cultivated
among our blind, — not, like Professor Jaeger, as an intellect-
ual olfactory, but as an aesthetic organ, which would feel the
least degree of impure air in any place as intolerable ; and,
in respect to cleanliness and health, it might, to a certain
extent, perform the office of guardian. We cannot, of
course, provide our institution rooms with paintings and
articles of adornment, which in schools for the seeing per-
form good service in an aesthetic sense ; but we might,
by avoiding everything luxurious, provide our rooms with
some of the beautiful products of nature and works of art,
like odorous flowers, good singing-birds, busts of celebrated
men, and representations, in relief, of important events, and
thus constantly employ the pupils' senses of smell, hearing,
and touch in an agreeable manner. It is also undisputed
that a fine appearance in motion and address is more diffi-
cult to teach to our blind than to the seeing. Bad habits,
swaying and rolling the head, contortion of the face, the
body bent forward, and an awkward motion of all the limbs
are just as ugly as the defects, grounded in the blindness
itself, which we observe in most of our pupils. Gymnastics,
as the most effective, universal remedy, with the specific
cure which must be allotted to each individual error, are to
be recommended for these. In my opinion, no day should
pass in an institution for the blind but that the younger
pupils at least should for a short time (fewer lessons suffice
for advanced ones) be made acquainted with and conducted
by a competent teacher through the methodically arranged
exercises of all kinds, to a proper attitude and correct
motion of the parts of their body. Interesting motion
games, particularly adapted to the nature of the blind, ought
to enhance these exercises, and cause mind and body to be
set in motion at the same time in a beneficial manner, so
that the interior and exterior powers be exerted harmoni-
ously and developed to independence. Gymnastic exercises,
with music and song accompaniment, should receive a special
impulse and a support aesthetically influential among the
blind, in whom the impulse and guidance of the sense of
sight for outward movements is wanting ; and, although I
cannot recommend the introduction of our usual dance, —
which, for the most part, consists only in a clasp and em-
brace of two persons of the opposite sex, and in a frantic
whirling around a central axis, — yet, on the other hand, I be-
lieve that the pretty dancing rows, which, with music and
song, set in motion not alone the legs, but the whole inner
and outer man, have the best effect upon our pupils. Tunes
and words set the otherwise lethargic, inner sense of the
^ESTHETIC CULTURE OF THE BLIND 4I
blind in active motion, and this motion is imparted rhyth-
mically and harmoniously to the whole body. If Socrates,
who, in Platonic dialogue over the state, declares the poet-
ical (that is, musical) and the gymnastic arts to be the foun-
dation of all education, had been a teacher of the blind, he
would have placed both these arts right in the principal part
of his instruction. And, without doubt, we can borrow from
the Grecian people, who in aesthetic culture attained the high-
est rank, many poetical exercises, and adapt them with ad-
vantage to our purpose. Moreover, — and this I emphasize, —
by means of gymnastics and aesthetic culture which train the
body to a graceful attitude and movement, and which ought
to make it an organ and representative of the intellect, will
the health, strength, and ability of our blind be decidedly
In schools for the seeing, instruction in penmanship and
drawing serves excellently for the cultivation of an aesthetic
taste. Since a school for the brind cannot bring into prac-
tice these means of culture, which presuppose the sense of
sight and also work upon and through it, consequently
it has to look around for a substitute ; and this is offered in
the so-called Frobel occupations, in modelling and in relief-
drawing, all of which depend upon the sense of touch. Con-
cerning the general importance and the excellent effect of
these indispensable appliances, particularly in relation to
the faculties of perception and volition, I will not speak
here, since this has very frequently been treated both in
writing and in discourse by Herr Heller and others ; but I
would simply like to show how the same exercises conduce
to the incitation and development of the sense of beauty
among the blind. The pure apparent forms of beauty are
order, method, and the unity in the plurality, also the har-
monious ; and nowhere do these fundamental forms come
more in practice than in the Frobel games, in drawing and in
modelling. Straight lines, regularly bent lines, arrangement
of the same into orderly figures, regular bodies, and placing
them together according to their proportions, which are here
represented outwardly and viewed inwardly, form the funda-
mental shapes of all aesthetic conception and of every artis-
tic performance. Whoever has appreciated them knows how-
to esteem aesthetically the beauties of nature, in which these
fundamental principles are constantly repeated ; also, how to
reproduce in a pleasing, beautiful form his own works, even
if they are in the artisan's grade. If, in the schools for the
deaf and dumb, in default of a system working aesthetically
through the hearing, a greater space of time (six to eight
hours per week) and attention than in a school for those with
perfect senses is given justifiably to drawing, acting upon
and through the eye, then in the plan of instruction of a
school for the blind relief-drawing and modelling ought to
take an important place in lieu of a department of culture
acting through the sight. It should also be taken into
consideration whether regard for the aesthetic culture of the
blind permits that the flat writing, which always includes
a certain practice of the sense of form, should be so de-
cidedly rejected for the point writing, destitute of all aes-
thetics, as many teachers of the blind, at their head Herr
Kriiger, have in view.
[To be continued.]
THE VALUE OF RECITALS IN MUSICAL
I would like to say a few words to the readers of The
Mentor in regard to a single phase of musical education ;
that is, the attainment of self-possession in playing before
others. I shall refer to the piano particularly ; but what is
true of that can easily be applied to other branches of music.
All will admit that a feeling of self-reliance on the stage, or
while playing in private parlors, is most desirable: whereas
excessive timidity or stage fright is the sure cause of disap-
pointment and mortification, affecting not only one's feel-
ings, but also his business. The best foundation for self-
reliance in playing is a sure technique. This should be
RECITALS IN MUSICAL EDUCATION 43
impressed upon the pupil with the first lessons. His prog-
ress should not be considered satisfactory until each lesson
is played as well as the teacher can play it. And here I
would urge the importance of having the teacher play what
his.pupil is studying, in order that he may set an example
of perfect accuracy, style, etc. The best teachers do this ;
but inferior ones do not, either because they are not able or
because they do not care to take the trouble to practise, yet
they are smart enough to assign some other reason for not
doing so. After several months' tuition, the scholar should
begin to play before company, and should continue this prac-
tice as frequently as possible throughout his whole musical
In the Perkins Institution occasions for playing before an
audience are, in part, furnished by the monthly pianoforte
recitals, established about fifteen years ago, and still con-
tinued with increased interest and usefulness. The pupils
are assembled before their teachers and other friends, and
each is required to play a study or piece which he has never
before played in company. If for any reason he is not thor-
oughly prepared, he is requested to defer his playing until
the next month, the aim of these recitals being to attain
a high standard of accuracy.
Three times in each year a review recital is held, when
each pupil reads a list of all the music he is ready to play,
from which one piece is selected at random by the teacher.
These lists are expected to include all the music that the
student has learned, but they do not always do so ; yet in
many instances the advanced pupils remember everything
they have taken.
In March of each year a Bach recital is held, when none
but the compositions of J. S. Bach are given. This custom
dates from a beautiful lecture delivered in 1885 by Mr.
John S. Dwight, a well-known musical critic of Boston,
commemorating the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth
of this great composer.
Mr. Dwight attends these recitals, and his kindly interest
and practical suggestions give a fresh impulse to the study
of this great master.
Last year individual lecture recitals were begun, each to
last not less than fifty minutes. A biographical sketch of
the composers and a description of the leading characteris-
tics of the pieces played were given. These recitals proved
very interesting and useful. They will be continued indefi-
The weekly Thursday Exhibitions serve a useful purpose
in bringing our advanced pupils before the public. The ex-
hibition in the boys' department lasts from eleven until
twelve o'clock, the last thirty minutes being devoted to
music, which takes the form of a concert. Selections are
given by the band on the organ, pianoforte, violin, clarinet,
and various solo brass instruments, besides solo and class
From twelve to one o'clock an exhibition is given in the
girls' department, with the same amount of time devoted to
music. Outside the walls of the institution our pupils gain
a very important experience in mingling with and playing
before the public. The full band occasionally goes to fill
an engagement, but far more often* a few soloists from it
either give an entire concert or assist at some entertainment.
Musical assistance to entertainments for charitable purposes
in this vicinity is seldom refused.
When a pupil has finished his course, and is ready to set
up in business in his own town either as workman, piano-
tuner, or music-teacher, it is customary to give him a con-
cert with institution talent. This is usually a financial as
well as an advertising success.
Such training must inevitably give readiness and self-re-
liance to a musician. For instance, the other evening one of
our young lady undergraduates happened to attend an en-
tertainment in the vestry of one of our principal Boston
churches. When the appointed hour for the music came,
one of the singers was unavoidably absent. It did not need
much persuasion for this young lady to come forward and
take her place. She sang and played her own accompani-
ment most acceptably. Congratulations, introductions, and
new friends was the result. Another young lady of the
RECITALS IN MUSICAL EDUCATION a?
class of 1889 was hired to sing at a concert in the Boston
Theatre. I thought it possible that she might feel nervous,
singing where she had so often heard great singers, such as
Adelina Patti, Nilsson, Clara Louise Kellogg, Lilli Leh-
mann, and numberless others ; but no, she was as self-pos-
sessed as though singing at home in her own parlors.
A member of the class of 1880, even before he left school,
told me that he never felt so well as when standing before
the footlights with his cornet in his hand. Although such
confidence as this is not altogether the result of training,
yet it has a great deal to do with it.
From my own experience and observation, therefore, I
conclude that a sure technique, which is only to be had
through many years of study with the best teachers, a large
repertoire, which must be diligently preserved, and a great
deal of experience in playing before company are the means
by which a musician attains to self-possession in playing.
There was once a small society whose mysterious name
was represented by the cabalistic letters I. O. of I. F. It's
strange motto was, "We get what we can, and keep what we
get." I would recommend this motto to my musical friends.
The first thought is that it suggests selfishness ; but that
idea vanishes when it dawns upon one that music may be
compared with the best things in the mind and heart, for
they are gotten and kept only by being given forth.
A HAPPY LIFE IN SILENCE AND DARKNESS.
Edith Thomas, the little deaf, dumb, and blind girl, who
received her early training at the Kindergarten for the
Blind in Jamaica Plain, has been for the past year a pupil at
the Perkins Institution. This is the fourth year of her
instruction, and it has marked a wonderful change in her
mind and character. Instead of the frolicsome kitten which,
four years ago, she seemed to resemble, we now see an
industrious, thoughtful little girl.
She has a very strong character, and is quite remarkable
for her independence in all things. Even for entertainment
and companionship she does not depend upon others, and
often prefers to sit alone and increase the wardrobe' of her
family of dolls rather than play with or be entertained by
the other children. A very skilful workman is this little
girl ; for, besides making Christmas presents for her mother
and other members of the family at home, she has manufact-
ured many pretty fancy articles, such as slippers, bead-
work, and pen-wipers made to represent the beautiful pond-
lily, which find a ready sale among the visitors at the Institu-
In the morning she has her regular hours for study. A
nook has been fitted up for her in one of the school-rooms ;
and, while classes are in session and oral recitations are
going on, Edith sits with her teacher at her little desk, and
silently pursues her own studies or recitations. At one
time you will see her reading from an embossed book (in
line type) with her left hand, while with the fingers of
her right she is repeating it to her teacher. At another
you will find her writing with a lead-pencil the regular
("square") hand which the girls in the South Boston school
are taught. She has a grooved pasteboard placed between
the leaves of the sheet, and by pressing the paper into the
A HAPPY LIFE IN SILENCE AND DARKNESS 47
grooves she has a guide for the straightness of the lines and
the height of the letters. Again, you may find her with a
Braille tablet and stiletto, embossing a page which she can
herself read. So this little girl has already learned four
entirely different alphabets, either of which she uses with
ease, — the manual alphabet, the line letter, the "square
hand," and the Braille system of embossed point.
Zoology is one of the studies in which she is most inter-
ested, especially when the object she wishes to describe can
be made out of clay. The first lesson given her on this
subject was on the structure of the bee. Edith was espe-
cially interested in bees at the time ; and she modelled this
little insect in clay, with the greatest care. It was beauti-
fully done, even in little details, though it was necessarily
enlarged in size. She was invited by a friend to call and
see her bees, and she accepted with delight. The first hive
was empty, and she could examine it freely ; but when, at
the next, she was told that the bees would sting, she still
longed to examine them, and said that she wanted to be
stung. This pleasure was, however, not realized. Edith
was greatly disappointed to find that the bee is so small an
insect. She has studied insects and mammals, and is now
learning something of birds.
Saturday morning she spends in the Sloyd School on
Warrenton Street, and there her deft little fingers are doing
very nice work in wood.
Edith has recently been visiting the kindergarten, where
she met Willie Elizabeth Robin, the little blind, deaf, and
dumb girl from Texas, who has just entered that pleasant
household. She was told that this little girl was like herself
when she first entered the kindergarten, and the knowledge
seemed to awaken in her heart a tender interest for her
sister in misfortune. And Willie was wonderfully attracted
to Edith, clinging to her constantly, following her wherever
she went, and submitting to her guidance better than to
that of any other member of the household. A very touch-
ing sight, and yet a pretty one, was the attempt of Edith to
teach this little girl.
4 8 THE MENTOR
Willie is only six years old, is wholly untrained and as
yet does not care for the finger language; and Edith's efforts
were very interesting. She showed a wonderful amount of
patience, repeating over and over again to little Willie the
words which her teacher had previously taught her, — ring,
hat, zxi&fau, — illustrating each word, as she spelled it with
her fingers, by the object which it represented.
Sometimes Willie would pull Edith's dress and hang upon
her, — a thing which Edith would never allow other children
to do, — but no sign of displeasure at Willie's pranks was to
be seen on Edith's face or in her actions. "Willie does not
know," she repeated several times, as if apologizing for her
little playmate. At last, however, she went to her teacher
with an expression of anxiety and trouble in her face, say-
ing, "Take off my pin: I am afraid it will get broken."
(The pin was one. which had been brought to her from across
the water, and she prizes it very highly.)
In the kindergarten games with the children, Edith gently
insisted upon Willie's playing and following them correctly ;
but, as in other things, she was kind and patient.
A beautiful and memorable picture was that made by
these two intelligent little girls, bereft of the senses through
which flow most of the pleasures of life, yet so bright and
joyous, as they played and frolicked together. Edith, a
petite yet plump and erect figure, with her dark hair and her
red dress was a striking contrast to little Willie, whose fair
complexion and light hair were admirably set off by her blue
dress. Beautiful, indeed, was the picture to the outer
vision; still more beautiful in its revelation of spontaneous
confidence and sympathy , between these two secluded chil-
Harriet M. Markham.
EXTRACT FROM A FAMILIAR TALK TO THE
ALUMNAE ASSOCIATION OF THE
Contemplation of the ideal, and careful analysis of it, are
necessary and directly serviceable in raising the plane of the
practical. Therefore, let us study some of the attainments
and characteristics of the ideal blind woman, in the hope
that we may thus be led to more successful imitation of her
powers and graces.
As in the story of the king and the locusts " what hap-
pened afterwards cannot be told before telling what happened
first," so before all else comes the self-helpfulness of the
ideal blind woman. This is shown even in the details of the
care of her person. Home and school training have made
her realize the necessity of paying great heed to these mat-
ters, and thus she has become habitually painstaking ; and
no lady in the land is more daintily neat than she.
The self-helpfulness of the ideal blind woman is conspicu-
ously manifested in her writing. If it is pencil writing to a
seeing friend, she takes time and pains to make it readable
rather than compel her friend to spend hours in deciphering
it. To be sure, she may have asked the help of some one's
eyes in the selection of paper and pencil most suitable for
her writing, — for a poor pencil will mar good writing; but
such help is a matter of no moment, — merely such as a short
person seeks in asking a taller friend to reach something for
her, — and does not detract from her independence in the
least : whereas every illegible letter she writes makes her
writing less reliable, and therefore of less worth.
Her Braille, of course, is correct. Could we hear her
scathing remarks upon the poor Braille which blind people
palm off on themselves and each other, I imagine we would
all study our Braille alphabets anew, and "punch with more
care " henceforward.. It seems to her dreadfully inconsist-
ent that blind people should be so lazily indifferent to their
own good in the matter of Braille. To think that a page of
good Braille should be almost a rarity ! We all acknowledge,
and some of us bewail, this state of things. Is there not a
remedy? Let us transfer the trouble we now take to deci-
pher poor Braille to our own Braille writing, and the reform
will be started. And, when our Braille is correct and con-
sequently easy to read, it will prove an invaluable aid to us
in our efforts at being self-helpful, as it has been to the
ideal blind woman.
Having found that she writes legibly with her pencil and
correctly with her stiletto, you may wish to know about her
reading. Whether she can read through many thicknesses
of a folded handkerchief, whether she is a fluent reader
(though it is a great advantage and delight if she is), neither
of these is of so great importance as the fact that she can
read ; and this I can say with certainty. Her friends read
to her more or less frequently, and she gratefully enjoys
every opportunity ; but her own fkigers are the key and
raised print the door by which she has free access to the
treasures of literature, and can wander among them, gather-
ing riches whensoever she will.
" Is your paragon musical ? " some one asks. It may be ;.
but her music is valuable for its own sake, and not simply
as wonderful "for a blind person."
An adept at fancy work ? Perhaps. At any rate, she
can sew when the need is ; and she has either sewing, knit-
ting, crocheting, or other resource of some kind, so that she
can busy herself at odd times without taxing other people.
By her diligent endeavors to do all for herself that
she may to attain the utmost independence, our ideal
blind woman has gained a high and blessed power, — the
power of helping others. One who has not strenuously cul-
tivated self-helpfulness, however, will often be of " more
bother than worth," as we say of children, to those whom
she attempts to help.
The ideal blind woman is cheerful. " Oh, well ! Blind
EXTRACTS FROM A FAMILIAR TALK
people are always cheerful," the world says. Yes, I know
it does, though I do not know whether it is true. But this
friend of ours has a steadfast cheerfulness, born of faith and
courageous endeavor. She has measured her dark trouble,
and shouldered it. She finds it not only cannot crush her,
though it certainly delays her progress, but that she can
even stand erect under it, provided she adds no burdens of
her own making and uses all the means obtainable for les-
sening the weight of this one, such means being what is
included in the comprehensive term "education."
She is greatly interested in all other blind people fighting
the battle of life and encountering the same difficulties with
She will not marry. She can endure blindness, but she
will not propagate it.
She is not over-sensitive about her lack of sight, know-
ing it is a fact which must often occasion remark.
She pays good heed to hints. Should any one suggest
that she sit a little differently at the piano, she will not
wait until she has to be told that her position is really very
awkward. She receives hints gratefully, and profits by them
She strives to win respect rather than pity ; but,- while
this kindly, tender-hearted old world will give its pity spon-
taneously and plentifully to blind people, they, like seeing
people, have to be worthy of respect in order to be re-
spected, and to be lovable in order to be loved.
She is not conceited. It is said that blind people are
especially apt to be conceited. I suppose one reason for
this fact is that the simplest thing a blind person does is
so apt to call forth wonder from seeing people that we get
a wrong idea of the absolute value of ourselves and our
achievements. Honest self-measurement is a cure for all
Now, we have observed that the ideal blind woman is self-
helpful, helpful to others, cheerful, interested in other blind
people, against marriage, not over-sensitive, but accepts
hints readily, is not conceited, is respected rather than
pitied, is loved because she is lovable. All this she is, and
far more. Indeed, I have purposely dwelt upon the plainer
and more practical part of the subject. In closing, however,
let me give a few golden sentences, expressing the principles
which have shaped her strong and beautiful character : —
" Sow an act, and reap a habit."
" Be useful where thou livest,
That they may both want and wish
Thy pleasing presence still."
" Pitch thy project high.
Who aimeth at the sky
Shoots higher much than if he meant a tree."
" All worldly joys go less
To the one joy of doing kindnesses."
" No life
Can be pure in its purpose
And strong in its strife,
And all life not be purer and
. Stronger thereby."
DRESS AND DEPORTMENT: THEIR RELATION
TO THE SUCCESS OF THE BLIND.
The fact is becoming more and more clear to the blind
and their friends that to be a successful man or woman in
these last days demands the removal of every obstacle pos-
sible, as well as the putting forth of the utmost endeavor to
surmount those which of necessity remain. It is the aim of
this article to call attention to some removable obstacles.
If the writer shall give some hints in regard to dress and
deportment, and shall do it in an entirely friendly, if frank,
spirit, he is not doubtful that he will be accorded as cordial
a hearing as the importance of the subject deserves. This
is no time for ornate literary disquisition : let us speak
plainly, and get at our subject at once.
Since the achievement of success is our goal, it will be
DRESS AND DEPORTMENT
entirely within the scope of our subject if we inquire upon
what success in life is founded. We may reply with suffi-
cient accuracy, Upon the possession of ability and of the
confidence of others, not only in our ability, but also in us
as men and women. I put this confidence above the posses-
sion of ability even, for many a man of ability has failed
because no one would repose faith in him. It is a great
misfortune of the blind that the want of sight tends to
weaken the confidence of others. The reason is not far to
seek. It is the eye more than any other feature that gives
life and interest to the face. It is the eye, too, that men
seek when, with warm hand-grasp, they bid each other wel-
come or adieu. The eye can look love, hope, joy, grief, and
all the emotions of the heart. It is one of the best indica-
tors of character, and it is universally appealed to for judg-
ment. A person whose eyes are veiled or incapable of
expression, by the very reason of his blindness, stands at a
great disadvantage when seeking the favorable judgment of
others. Let the blind see to it that there be no further im-
pediment than the lack of this invaluable possession.
Such an impediment, it seems to me, is often found in the
lack of consideration that is given by the blind to the mat-
ters of personal appearance and deportment. The absence
of sight not only prevents a sympathetic response to the
glance of a beholder, but also puts no check on his curiosity.
It is a fact worthy of the most careful consideration that the
blind are subjected to the most minute and constant inspec-
tion, wherever duty or pleasure leads them. Of course I am
speaking now, not of the attitude of their seeing friends, nor
of that small percentage of people whose sense of courtesy
is stronger than that of curiosity, but of the custom of the
mass of people upon whose verdict the success of the blind
is hanging. And what is the effect of this inspection ? Just
this : it will either strengthen or weaken their confidence in
blind people, just in the measure that neatness or untidiness
is displayed in their personal appearance.
Even so frank and bold a paper as this need not discuss
in detail those infelicities which mar the appearance of peo-
54 - THE MENTOR
pie, seeing as well as blind. But to the latter class I would
speak with an emphasis born of a conviction of the necessity
of such utterance : Exercise the most unflagging zeal for
neatness. Let the face, the hands, the teeth, the nails, the
hair, clothes, and shoes tell but one story to that self-
appointed inspector yonder ; namely, that he is in the pres-
ence of one every detail of whose toilet stamps him as a
gentleman and whose demeanor is the strongest rebuke to
such deplorable lack of courtesy. In matters of dress, be
guided by the rule to which the seeing defer. Let not your
standard of attire be that of a fop ; but, in so far as your
means and scrupulous care will allow, be dressed as gentle-
men dress. A blind man of all others should hesitate long
before saying to a demand upon him for a needed improve-
ment, " I cannot afford it " : the chances are that he cannot
afford not to afford it.
There is another reason why personal appearance should
meet with careful attention. Unfortunately, there is a popu-
lar belief that blindness is always and necessarily accompa-
nied by marks of misery, poverty, and disorder of very
pronounced types. Doubtless people are not entirely to
blame. The appearance of the many blind mendicants with
their dogs and other paraphernalia, who formerly existed in
such large numbers, served only to illustrate what appears
to be present axiomatically in the minds of many. But,
thank God ! those days have passed or are rapidly passing.
Thank him, also, that the blind, if they will, can rise from
the dark caverns of prejudice and ignorance into the sunlight
of self-respect and the confidence and loyalty of others ! To
the blind, then, let the word be, Deserve the confidence of
your fellow-men ! to those with whom they have to do, be it
said, Take no mean advantage over your sightless neighbor,
but accord him the same measure of courtesy and the same
standard of judgment that you demand for yourself.
There is left little space to speak of deportment. This
stands hand in hand with dress as a means of procuring the
good will of those whose confidence we desire. The growth
in the demands of society, which has changed the practices
DRESS AND DEPORTMENT
of the savage into the refined manners of a modern lady or
gentleman, is a complex one, but is based, like all virtues, on
the principle of unselfishness. Do not that which will en-
croach on the rights of your neighbor, and omit nothing that
will increase his pleasure in your companionship. The art
of politeness is best learned by imitation, and hence is one of
the most difficult for the blind to acquire. It is safe to say
that too little attention is paid to this matter, both by pupils
and teachers, in the various schools for the blind. The
engagement of a special teacher of deportment, mentioned
in the January Meritor, to direct and supplement the earnest
and constant efforts of every officer of the school, seems a
step in the right direction, and warranted by the existing
necessity. The parents of the blind must do their part in
requiring, during vacations and at all times, the most
diligent regard both for manners and for personal appear-
ance. But a proper attention to the principle of unselfish-
ness ought to suggest to the blind themselves how to avoid
many errors of deportment which otherwise they might
commit. It should be plain, for example, to the most
thorough-going stickler for neatness in personal appearance,
that any attention to matters of toilet is not a public matter,
but should be given in private only. A better conception
of the power and range of vision will assist the blind in their
efforts to avoid giving offence in what with both blind and
seeing is often a serious breach of etiquette. Let it be
put down as a general principle that whatever calls the
attention of a stranger to us is reprehensible. Yawning,
talking loudly with friends, humming a tune as we walk the
street, the incessant choosing of one's self as a subject of
conversation, and that abomination of abominations, — retail-
ing one's private affairs to a car full of people, — are things
which well-bred people never do. The use by the blind of
tobacco — that relic of barbarism by means of which man
asserts his superiority over woman-kind, in that he denies
this "luxury" and "solace" (pet names of his) to his wife
or sister except as it comes in rank and malodorous effluvia
from his personage, while he himself puffs and chews val-
iantly — is suicidal. It is safe to leave the decision of many
other matters which it is not possible to mention, to the en-
lightened common sense.
The conclusion of the whole matter is this : Let each blind
person attend with fidelity to the important matters of ap-
pearance and deportment. Let him do it for the sake of
his own success and for the sake of the influence that each
one has in determining the condition of the blind, which
in these later years, has been growing brighter and better.
Elmer S. Hosmer.
BAND-LEADING AS AN EMPLOYMENT FOR THE
It has fallen .to my lot during the past few years to
undertake the leadership of several bands in the State of
Ohio ; and I gladly give the results of my experience to the
readers of The Mentor.
Among the qualifications of a band-leader, besides the
general requisites of energy and quickness of perception, I
have found the knowledge of harmony and composition and
a correct ear to be indispensable. I have had to do with
men of little musical culture, whose imperfect knowledge of
music was still further confused by the many typographical
errors to which band music seems particularly subject. My
method has been to write in Braille the part for the solo
cornet, indicating carefully the. marks of expression and the
long rests, should such be given to any instrument or instru-
ments. Having committed so much to memory, I am pre-
pared for rehearsal, relying upon my ear and understanding
of harmony to note errors, in the correction of which I have
often called on the most intelligent member for aid in point-
ing out the mistake in the offender's part. Of course, I do
not play myself until the piece is well under way.
Marching, out of doors, has given me some trouble ; and I
have found it practically impossible to keep in line with men
from three to six feet distant. For the solution of this
matter, I have asked the porter — who regularly accom-
SIGHT AND SIGHTLESS DRAUGHT-PLAYING 57
parries bands here as a sort of commissariat — to walk shoul-
der to shoulder with me.
I have had some experience with orchestral work also, and
have met with no insurmountable obstacle. Playing for
concerts and dances introduces no new factor into the prob-
lem, nor does theatrical work, other than the catching of the
cues. My Braille writing here as elsewhere has proved a
trusty friend in noting the spoken words of the actors.
I am thoroughly convinced, however, that it is only in the
amateur field that the blind can hope to succeed. The con-
stant changing of programmes, the accompanying of soloists
at a moment's notice, etc., make demands on the profes-
sional, either in band or orchestra, that only a musical
genius, if he be blind, can satisfy. In the line of work
which I have followed, I see no hindrance which a blind
man, properly equipped, will not be able to remove.
C. H. Prescott.
SIGHT AND SIGHTLESS DRAUGHT-PLAYING.
Draught-playing, as performed by the seeing, is an amuse-
ment more or less participated in by people of all countries.
The remarkable skill displayed at the game by several of
our sightless proficients has demonstrated, beyond dispute,
that the mind, through the medium of touch, may be trained
to comprehend the multifarious involutions with which this
recreation abounds. To all the patrons of our new monthly
who desire to have kindled in their minds a relish and ever
increasing fondness for this simple yet most profound of
games, is extended a cordial and earnest invitation to join
our exploring expedition for an ocean voyage over and
around the checker-board.
Small ocean ! think you ? We have the log-books of navi-
gators who have been sailing over it for four centuries ; and
none of them as yet have cried, " Land ahead ! " But of this
more will be stated in future issues.
The Mentor shall be our stanch and gallant ship, and we
her dauntless crew. So come on board, ye hardy youth
and gentle maiden, sign articles, procure your outfits, and
be in readiness for duty. Familiarity with nautical lore,
boatswain's calls, and ship's tackle, will be essential : adroit-
ness at sail-setting, imperturbability in working ship, and
fluency in compass-boxing are indispensable qualifications
to adept seamanship.
Impecuniosity will doubtless debar many of our party
from supplying their chests with charts, buoy-books, and nav-
igators' guides ; and consequently these will be obliged to
fall back on the ship's library. All inquiries pertaining to
matters within our province will be answered as far as can
be. In order to facilitate movements, we shall give the
locations of the most dangerous obstructions thus far dis-
covered, with soundings on and about the same.
We shall leave our moorings for an outward-bound cruise
on the starboard tack, through the main ship channel, on
a taut bowline, yards braced up sharp for a four point
course. Should a cross-current sweep us off the main pas-
sage, we'll tack ship and enter side channel, avoiding, as far
as known, all cyclonic latitudes. Ahead are wide waters,
divers currents, unspindled reefs, unbuoyed shoals, changing
quicksands, buffeting billows, baffling breezes, and misty
skies; yet, with a zealous crew of thoughtful, watchful ad-
venturers, we shall not tire of our voyaging, but, with every
sail, block, and becket, and a vigilant lookout at the mast-
head, we will speed on and on, with the hope that erelong
we may overhaul the main squadron of our seeing contem-
poraries, and unite with them in a friendly rivalry for new
On Board Flagship " Mentor," Draught Dept.,
Feb. i, 1891.
First General Orders.
No. 1. — Boat officers will muster their respective crews,
and see that they are manned with proper outfits.
No. 2. — Outfits shall consist of at least one cell-board,
together with the requisite number of counters or pieces,
and a suitable box for stowing the same when off duty.
No. 3. — Crews will number the cells of their boards in
SIGHT AND SIGHTLESS DRAUGHT-PLAYING
the same order as that adopted for the numbering of the
squares upon the boards used by the main squadron.
No. 4. — Rules governing the movements of counters or
pieces shall not differ essentially from those of the main
No. 5. — All rules adopted by the main squadron which
require observance of colors, or in any manner restrict the
movements of the hands, must of necessity be and are hereby
No. 6. — All communications intended for this department
must be forwarded to H. S. Rogers, 19 Tilley Street, New
In order to acquire a thorough understanding of the pre-
ceding directions and suggestions, it will be necessary to
carefully study the following instructions from our maritime
Cell-boards are of two patterns, as shown in the following
No. 1. No. 2.
C 2o x
First, the Egyptian or ordinary board is a quadrate, con-
sisting of sixty-four alternate cells and spaces.
Second, the Lallemont or natural board consists of a
group of thirty-two cells, formed of dual pyramidic groups
of sixteen cells each.
It will be noticed in diagram No. 1 that cells are num-
bered exactly as in reading the lines of a page from one to
60 THE MENTOR
thirty-two. In diagram No. 2, the order is reversed. Cells
are numbered for the purpose of announcing the moves
while playing the game, and also that the moves may be
recorded, which it would be impossible to do without asso-
ciating some symbol with the cell, and thus being able to
retain it in the mind.
An accurate and tangible representation of these diagrams
may be produced on paper, as follows : —
First, to form the Egyptian pattern upon a Braille tablet.
Place the paper in the tablet in the ordinary way, and make
the six-dot character in the first three cells of the first and
second lines. Then, skipping three cells, make a like group
of six-dot characters in the seventh, eighth, and ninth cells of
the same lines. Repeat this operation until you have made
four of these groups in the first and second lines. Then
make four similar .groups in the third and fourth lines, "skip-
ping three cells at the beginning. The fifth and six lines
will be like the first and second. In this way make eight
rows, each row having four groups, and each group six char-
acters. The plain squares may be numbered as they occur
in making the diagram.
Second, to form this pattern upon a New York tablet.
Place the paper in the larger size tablet, — namely, fifty cells
in width, — in the ordinary way. Put the guide in the third
hole from the top, make the four-point character in all of
the cells of the three lines, then change the guide to the next
position below, and make a two-point character in the upper
half of all the cells of the first line. At the bottom of this
line of cells make a two-point character in the first ten
cells, then, skipping five cells, make five more two-point
characters, then, skipping five, make five more, and so on
until you have reached the opposite side. Do the same with
the four-point character in the second and third lines as
you have with the two-point character in the lower half of
Now in the thirteenth cell of the second line make the
four-point character, which indicates the numeral one. Then,
skipping nine cells, make the numeral two ; then, skipping
nine more, make the numeral three ; then, skipping nine
SIGHT AND SIGHTLESS DRAUGHT-PLAYING 6 1
more, make the numeral four, which is the last in this line.
Now move the guide to its third position, and make the two-
point character in the top half of all the upper line of cells
the same as you did in this line while the guide was in the
second position. Now in the lower half of this line make
the two-point character in the first five cells, then, skipping
five, make five more, and so on until you have four, then,
skipping another five, make ten, which will carry you to the
end of the line.
Do the same with the four-point character in the second
and third lines as you have with the two-point character in
the lower half of this line.
Now in the eighth cell of the second line make the nu-
meral five, then, skipping to the tenth from this, make the
numeral six, and so on until you have numbered this line of
Dropping the guide to its fourth position, do exactly the
same as when the guide was in the second position, being
careful to number the squares in their proper order ; namely,
9, IO, II, 12. .
Dropping the guide to its fifth position, do the same as
you did with the third position. Continue in this way until
your guide has reached its tenth position, in which you will
make the four-point character in all the cells of the three
lines. After which, place the guide in its next place, and
make the two-point character in the top half of all the cells
of the first line. If you have been careful to number all the
plain squares as they have occurred, you will have an excel-
lent reference board, with a neat border. Size the back with
a thin solution of white shellac dissolved in alcohol, and it
will be very serviceable.
Third, to form the Lallemont pattern upon a Braille tablet,
place a square sheet of paper in the tablet diagonally. Then
across the centre of the sheet make a single horizontal line
of dots running through twenty-one cells. Two lines above
this make another single horizontal line of the same length.
Two lines above the second line make a third line, not ex-
tending so far in either direction by three cells. 'Continue
in this way until you have made four lines above the centre
^2 THE MENTOR
line. Then make four similar lines below the centre line,
and connect the ends of the corresponding lines, above and
below, with straight lines of dots.
Fourth, to form this pattern upon a New York tablet,
place the paper in the tablet diagonally, put the guide in the
seventh hole from the top, and make two double horizontal
lines in the bottom row of cells their entire length. Move
the guide up one position, and make a similar double hori-
zontal line of dots in the middle row of cells. Move the
guide up another position, and make a similar line of dots in
the upper row, commencing with the eighth cell and ending
with the forty-second inclusive, which leaves eight vacancies,,
the same as at the beginning. This time carry the guide up
two positions, and make the double horizontal line in the
lower row, commencing with the fifteenth cell and ending
with the thirty-fifth inclusive. Move the guide into the next
position, and make a double line of dots in the middle row,
commencing with the twenty-second and ending with the
Now carry the guide down to the ninth hole from the top,
and make a double horizontal line in the upper row of cells
their entire length. Carry the guide down one position, and
make a similar horizontal line in the middle row of cells,
commencing with the eighth and ending with the forty-
second inclusive. Carry the guide down another position,
and make a similar line in the lower row, commencing with
the fifteenth and ending with the thirty-fifth inclusive. This
time carry the guide down two positions, and do the same in
the middle row, commencing with the twenty-second and
ending with the twenty-eighth inclusive. Now connect the
ends of the lines of corresponding lengths, above and below
the centre line, with straight double lines of dots. This
diagram may now be numbered as follows : the single square
in the upper row, 29 ; the three squares of the next row,
30, 25, 21 ; the next row, 31, 26, 22, 17, 13; next row, 32,
27, 23, 18, 14, 9, 5 ; next row, 28, 24, 19, 15, 10, 6, 1 ; next
row, 20, 16, 11, 7, 2; next row, 12, 8, 3 ; and the last single
one at the bottom, 4.
H. S. Rogers.
AT HOME AND ABROAD.
The Society for the Home Teaching of the Blind in
Chicago commenced its work nearly eight years ago through the
instrumentality of Dr. Moon, of Brighton, Eng., who is at the
head of an institution for the blind, and is entirely without sight.
Some years previous to his visiting the larger cities of America,
he had been led to consider the condition of those blind persons,
" so many in number," who had either lost their sight in middle
life or whose finger-tips, by means of hard work, had lost much of
their sensitiveness; and so they were quite unable to read the small
print which is taught at the institutions. Dr. Moon, having real-
ized these difficulties, and of how much pleasure these poor people
were deprived, determined to meet their needs, if possible. So he
invented a simplified alphabet, large and easily fingered, with the
happy result that to hundreds of persons it has been, as it were,
the beginning of .a new life. When Dr. Moon came to this city
for the purpose of introducing this type, he became the guest of
Mr. William Bradley, who took such a thorough interest in the
matter that he soon succeeded in getting together a number of
prominent ladies and gentlemen of the city, who at once formed
themselves into a society for the purpose of providing a free
library and free teaching for the blind. Our library contains
about four hundred and seventy books, most of them in the Moon
type ; but there are about one hundred in the " line " for the bene-
fit of those who are able to read them. The teacher's salary and
all other expenses connected with the work are defrayed by this
society. The blind in any part of the city who wish to learn the
Moon type are taught at their homes. Others are read to once
a week, and are greatly cheered and comforted thereby. Time
and space would, fail me to tell of the blessings and benefits result-
ing from the establishment of this free library and the work con-
nected therewith. Many a heart has been cheered and many a
spirit brightened by the finding of a treasure in the way of access
to books which they had long thought were closed to them forever.
Emma Aylmer, Librarian.
The erection of buildings intended for the Institution for the
Blind, in Milan, was commenced last April, and is being actively
carried forward. It is hoped that they will be ready for occupation
in the autumn of 1892. When completed, this vast establishment,
of which the expense of construction alone is estimated at 860,000-
francs (the land having cost 400,000 francs), will be one of the
finest for the blind in Europe. — Le Valentin Haily.
In the January issue of The Mentor, I gave, in brief, a descrip-
tion of our school buildings and grounds. In this issue, I will give
a brief sketch of the founding of our school.
For a period of more than twenty years the deaf-mutes and the
blind were assembled together under one corps of instructors in the
city of Flint, and, as in all other instances where the two classes
are associated, the progress of the blind, at least, was greatly
retarded; but an act of the legislature of 1879 divided the two
classes, the deaf-mutes remaining in their present building, while
the blind were removed to Lansing. The central portion of our
present main building was then in the hands of the Odd Fellows,
who had erected it with the view of making it a home for the
widows and orphans of deceased members, and had hoped to
interest the general lodge of the State. They had failed in this,
and it was therefore necessary to dispose of the building at a very
great sacrifice. The General Assembly, seeing clearly the advan-
tage that would be gained by purchasing it for the purpose of a
school for the blind, bought the estate ; and, at the opening of the
school year in 1880, the blind commenced their studies indepen-
dently in their new quarters. The number of pupils at that time
was only about thirty-five. A board of trustees, three in number,
was also appointed to take charge ; and this board, in turn, ap-
pointed Mr. James F. McElroy, A.M., to act as superintendent.
Under his judicious management, the school steadily increased in
numbers; and, in 1884, a wing was built on the south side, to be
AT HOME AND ABROAD
occupied by the girls, and the following year a corresponding wing
was erected for the use of the boys. Mr. McElroy, being of an
ingenious turn of mind, was soon called to a much more lucrative
position ; and in 1887 he severed his connection with our school,
and took up his residence in Albany, N.Y., where his expectations
have been more than realized. He carried with him the love and
best wishes of his corps of instructors and pupils as well.
A. C. Blakeslee.
[Continued in our next issue.]
Missouri School for the Blind. — Our biennial report has
just been received from the printer, and will soon be sent to the
brethren over the land.
The committee appointed by the governor to examine the
State institutions visited us last week, and found us in our usual
The teacher of gymnastics began a few weeks ago, and has
made an excellent showing for so short a time. The pupils,
boys and girls, are much interested, and thoroughly enjoy the
work. The roller-skating craze has struck us hard and deep.
Two evenings each week do not nearly satisfy the " cranks."
Our large enrolment of new pupils has necessitated the employ-
ment of another teacher. The Mandolin Club that proved such
a source of pleasure last term has been reorganized, and sere-
nades are now in order. We have an excellent work for the
little ones now in press, and expect to have it in the hands of the
binder very soon. We are experimenting in the direction of hav-
ing our girls learn piano tuning and repairing, with evidences of
success. The Merritt Type-writer seems to solve the problem of
a cheap instrument for the blind.
What has been done toward having a display of the work of the
blind at the World's Fair ? It is early to begin ; but, if it is not
begun early, nothing will be done. I think the matter should
receive the attention of the Executive Committee at once.
a. t. c.
66 THE MENTOR
New York State Institution Items. — It is always pleasant to
report the success of our pupils, as it tends to inspire others to put
forth efforts toward the same results.
Mr. Franklin Kent, a graduate of the class of '88, has received
an appointment as organist in a church at Boonville, N.Y.
Mr. George Johnson, organist of the Presbyterian church in
this town, has asked for an increase of salary, having received an
offer of a more lucrative position elsewhere.
A new sewer is in process of construction here, which, when
completed, will dispose of the sewage by what is known as chem-
ical sedimentation. Good results are expected from this, it being
the aim of the trustees to have this building as healthful as possi-
ble ; and in this they will probably succeed.
Mr. Boesch, of Cleveland, Ohio, formerly a pupil of the Perkins
Institution at Boston, Mass., spent a few days with us a short time
since. He was then returning to his home.
A project has been started at Buffalo, N.Y., to enable worthy
blind pupils of this State to obtain a livelihood by their own
efforts in a working home to be established there. <
Pupils who went home for the holidays returned in good season,,
and now all are busily engaged in finishing up this term's work.
W. H. Johnson, one of the largest pianoforte dealers in the
maritime provinces of Canada, has recently engaged the services
of Montague Warren, a piano-tuner who graduated from the Hali-
fax School for the Blind in June, 1890. Mr. Warren is, in every
respect, a first-class tuner ; and his engagement by such a well-
known firm will be of advantage to every tuner who graduates
from the institution at Halifax.
On the west side of Halifax harbor is situated the town of Dart-
mouth, on the outskirts of which are many beautiful suburban
residences. Several of these were planned and built under the
immediate supervision of a blind gentleman named John Esdaile,.
who won an enviable reputation 'among architects. Mr. Esdaile
not only had a perfect knowledge of the best manner in which to
plan the interior of houses, but also a correct idea as to the beauty
of the exterior design, upon which he always expended much time
and careful thought. Mr. Esdaile died some years ago, but the
AT HOME AND ABROAD
houses which he has constructed stand as monuments of his abil-
ity and pluck.
Among the curious occupations which are sometimes taken up
by blind persons is one which may be new to readers of The
Mentor. Some years ago William Smith, a graduate of the Hali-
fax School for the Blind, went to the Canadian North-west with
the rest of his family ; and, not having a taste for farming, he set
about to seek an occupation. At length he began to purchase
from the Indians and hunters large numbers of buffalo horns,
which he carefully prepared, mounted, and handsomely polished,
and sent them to the East, where he found a ready sale for them.
He has now established a good business in his own peculiar line,
and makes a fine profit from his enterprise.
The Oregon Institution for the Blind was established in
1872, with only two pupils. Since that time, it has been closed
four years. In 1886 the present property was purchased, also an
organ, piano, books in raised print, and apparatus. There has
been an average of about seven pupils in the school the past eight
years. In October work began with six pupils, and we now have
sixteen, most of them children. There are over forty blind in the
State, of school age ; and we hope to be able to report double our
present number a year hence. We have a library of about three
hundred volumes in New York point and line letter. The former
is taught exclusively in both reading and writing • but the line let-
ter is read by several pupils, and two still write with pin-type. All
are taught the use of the type-writer and music, also net and ham-
mock making ; and the young girls, sewing and knitting. Current
topics and general reading fill the evenings. The boys and girls
are upon different floors of the same house, but eat and study in
the same room, under the supervision of employees. Our school
year is at present only eight months, but we hope to have another
month added to it in the near future.
Olive M. Capwell, Superintendent.
Philadelphia Items. — On the morning of the 23d of Decem-
ber, all hands came into the large hall of the Institution, in order
to enjoy the long-expected Christmas " secrets." After fully three
68 THE MENTOR
hours of charades, both speaking and acting, songs, declamations,
band pieces, and a minstrel show, some one in the audience was
heard to say, " Why, there has not been a stupid number yet."
Nearly half of the pupils remained during the ten days' recess.
For these there were two Christmas trees, well trimmed and
lighted; and there was a present for each and all. Besides, Kris
Kringle had not neglected the hung-up stockings of the younger
folks. Daily readings and candy-munchings and pop-gun shooting
served to pass the time pleasantly away. One hundred and forty
pounds of mixed candy, in pound boxes, were distributed to those
who were present at the Christmas dinner.
During the holidays the Acting Principal gave lectures before
two Women's Educational Clubs in Newton, Mass., his subject
in each case being "The Education of the Blind." Mr. Allen
believes that too much cannot be done for the blind of the future
in the way of enlightening the public on this generally benighted
It may be a surprise to many to learn that from August, 1852,
until November, 1854, the Hon. James G. Blaine was principal
teacher in this Institution. Referring to the latter's appointment,
the Principal, in his Annual Report for. 1853, wrote words which
we can readily believe ; namely, " Mr. James G. Blaine has been
elected " to the office of principal teacher, " and gives the most
satisfactory evidence of his ability to fulfil its duties."
In this connection it may not be out of place to add that ex-
President Cleveland was formerly a teacher in the New York
Institution for the Blind.
Query : Does teaching the blind lead to governing the nation ?
A monthly journal devoted to the blind, and published at St.
Petersburg, under the title lOAveugk Russe, was abandoned in June,
1889. It was established in 1886, M. Ottocar d'Aderkas being
chief editor. Its cause — the promotion of the welfare of the
blind — is not, however, left without an organ. Since July, 1889,
L'Aveugle, which continues the work of the preceding publication,
has been issued under the direction of M. Nedler, Counselor of
State and Director of the School for the Blind in St. Petersburg. —
Le Valentin Haiiy.
At Konigswarth there has been, since the latter part of 1888,
an institution for blind children of defective intellect, as an annex
of the Royal Institution for the Blind, at Dresden. This new
establishment, which already has twenty children actually under
instruction, is the first and only institution of this kind in the
world. — Le Valentin Haily.
Emmett C. McClure, a graduate of the Perkins Institution,
whose home for nearly twenty years has been in Rutland, Vt.,
and who for the past two years has been in the employ of the
Estey Organ Company, went to Chicago on January 5, to enter
the employ of the Manufacturers' Piano Company, at 248 Wabash
Avenue, on a salary of thirty-five dollars a week.
We hasten to correct a typographical error in our last issue, by
which the estimated amount of the donations of the late T. R.
Armitage, M.D., to the Royal Normal College for the Blind,
London, appeared at only one-fifth of their value, — $40,000 instead
* # ;• #
A correspondent writes : " In your January number, in an
article upon 'The Use of Capital Letters in Writing by the Blind,'
the author makes the following statement : ' Certainly we cannot
write with pen and ink. Common sense immediately consigns
that operation to the realm of the impossible as far as we are con-
cerned.' Supposing that the writer (evidently a blind person)
understood his subject, I did not at the moment seriously question
his assertion ; but a few days later I was surprised to see a letter
written and addressed with pen and ink by a blind gentleman. It
was perfectly legible, too. Now, if such writing is 'impossible,'
clearly this man has wrought a miracle. Is it true that the use of
pen and ink by the blind is so rare as to be miraculous ? "
Will our readers give testimony on the subject ?
j7 THE MENTOR
We would invite the attention of superintendents and teachers
to Dr. Sibley's question as to what is being done toward preparing
a display of the work of the blind at the World's Fair. Surely, the
institutions of the United States can prepare an exhibit which will
be highly creditable to the class and to the educational methods of
* # *
A point-writing machine is now the desideratum in schools for
the blind, and several attempts have been made in this direction.
An inventor of Bridgeport, Conn., has now an unfinished model in
hand. Another model of such a machine has recently been made
by Thomas C. Orndorff, of Worcester, Mass. ; and a patent is
applied for. Still another has just been brought out in England,
and The Mentor has been promised one of these English machines
as soon as they are ready to be put into the market. If there are
others in progress, let us hear of them.
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808 Chapel St., cor. Orange, New Haven, Conn.
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A strong indorsement of the efficiency of these tuners appears in the testimonials
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Orders addressed to Tuning Department, Perkins Institute for the Blind,
South Boston, will receive prompt attention.
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